Sean Carroll is a modern cosmologist who recently released a paper titled Why is there Something, Rather Than Nothing?[1]. I'm having trouble finding it in his works. Sorry, this post was deleted by the person who originally posted it. Why is there something rather than nothing? A place dedicated to insightful posts and thoughtful, balanced discussion about atheism specifically and related topics concerning irreligion and religion generally. Nothing is only one possibility. Look, I'm sorry but we're completely out of nothing. Why is There "Something" Rather Than "Nothing"? Physicist Lawrence Krauss peddles this message in his new book A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing (Free Press, 2012). Nothing in the question precludes a reason for there to be something. Why is there something rather than nothing? – why the universe exists, or why there is something rather than nothing [1, 2]. Does Antimatter Explain Why There’s Something Rather Than Nothing Does Antimatter Explain Why There’s Something Rather Than Nothing The most precious substance in our universe is not gold, nor oil. God also doesn’t solve the problem. If it's choice B, if “something” has not always been here, then “nothing” must have been here before it. We know that there is not Nothing. I agree and propose the following. Ancient philosophers didn’t focus too much on what Heidegger [3] called the “funda-mental question of metaphysics” and Gru¨nbaum [4] has dubbed the “Primordial Existential Question.” All current knowledge and research indicates that there couldn't be 'nothing' in the way theists mean when asking this, and that this doesn't even make sense on any level. • When positive and negative cancel each other out there is nothing. It is not a simple question and it does not belong to one branch of knowledge. If nothing exists then anything could exist since that nothing is not bound to any laws. That’s the big question we’re asking in this week’s show. Posted by 2 years ago. Why is there something rather than nothing? "Something” has always been here. It doesn't appear in any feeds, and anyone with a direct link to it will see a message like this one. Even if the universe were eternal, we would still want to know why there is an eternal universe instead of nothing at all. Why there is Something rather than Nothing. We’ve already seen that science is grounded in the idea that whatever exists has a reason outside of itself to explain its existence. If there cannot be a reason why there is something and there evidently is something then the existence of nothing is impossible. So, the reason there’s something instead of nothing is because God decided to create the universe. The questions pertaining to "why there is anything at all? B. Why is there something rather than nothing? Of course, this in no way lends credibility to deity mythologies. Forget science. Some might say that in the above, just by using the word "nothing", I'm reifying, or giving existence to, something that's not there at all. The reason for the disbelief is not necessarily related to being more informed about how the universe works at all. – John Horgan, Director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Science Will Never Explain Why There’s Something Rather Than Nothing… There is Something. : 23 Questions from Great Philosophers [Kolakowski, Leszek] on Amazon.com. After this unimaginably long time, then, there will be nothing rather than something – an eternity of nothingness. It is a real entity, a substance. Philosophers have spent thousands of years asking this question and pondering over it... And OP wants it answered now in this thread! Nothing is nothing fun. It’s hard to know what an answer might even look like. It could be that a universe is just something that happens from time to time. Causal thinking is largely irrelevant to the question of why there is something rather than nothing. As a logical abstraction, “some thing” cannot be the starting point of a philosophical argument which reaches, in conclusion, the existence of any entity, let alone that Being whose nature is to exist. Nothing did not obtain. Completely empty space has weight. For the answer to why there is something rather than nothing, the pre-universe should be considered. There wouldn't be porn without something. In some respects the contingency argument is even more persuasive than the Kalaam argument. Ok so let me walk you through my thought process on this. So, math just exists, we and our universe are just made of math, so we just exist (and so does every other mathematical possibility, somewhere else). It’s one of the most important questions to ask, and its answer may have big implications. This question, usually thought to fall strictly within the purview of philosophy and theology, has recently received attention in the world of popular science thanks to books by Stephen Hawking and Lawrence M. Krauss. I believe (1) is true. Forget God. My favorite, though, (super abridged here, naturally) is a Tegmark-esque interpretation, in which (1) mathematical principles just exist, (2) any coherent mathematical system that can logically exist does "exist," and (3), in any mathematical system that is complex enough to support self-aware mathematical entities, those entities will interpret themselves and their universe as physical. It also ignores the fact that in order to even discuss the topic, we have have to talk about "nothing" as if it's a thing. 1.) ...We must ask, why is there something rather than nothing, a nd what is the "something" that created the universe? We don't know, and anyone says otherwise is a liar. The question of why is there something rather than nothing has been with us for as long as man first acquired language and began to ask questions about the world around him. Interestingly, these authors propose s From nothing comes nothing is one; the other possibility is that something always existed. Why there is something rather than nothing seems less fundamental to me, than asking why are we aware of the universe at all. Why is there something rather than nothing? Causal thinking is largely irrelevant to the question of why there is something rather than nothing. How is it possible for something to emerge from nothing, or has a universe in some form always existed? There are two possibilities. After this unimaginably long time, then, there will be nothing rather than something – an eternity of nothingness. Maybe our "something" IS, in fact, nothing? Nothing did not obtain. Was the entire existence absent at some point in the past? Or at least know why there was something rather than nothing in 1995. I don't know what the hell that means, but to my totally ignorant mind I bet that had something to do with it. Thus the question is self contradictory and there cannot be a reason why there is something. "Why is there something rather than nothing?" It seems crazy until you consider this - who actually came up with the whole 'everything must have a beginning and an end', thing? Why is someone downvoting all the answers here? We know that there is not Nothing. 0. It's literally the best we can do. Therefore this is rather an ill-formed question. : 23 Questions from Great Philosophers They aren't asking what caused everything, they would say God exists necessarily and that is the reason there is something instead of nothing. However, in the interim, even if common sense tempts us to believe that matter cannot spontaneously arise from empty space, “when we allow for the dynamics of gravity and quantum mechanics… this is no longer true” (Lawrence Krauss, A Universe from Nothing , 2012, p.151). It still leaves you with the question of why math exists, and there's some debate over whether it can stem from logic alone, and in turn whether what we call logic can really be confirmed to be "universal," but I'll leave that to someone else. This is the question Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz posed about the universe to argue for the existence of God. Why doesn't matter. Here’s my view. ", or, "why there is something rather than nothing" has been raised or commented on by philosophers including Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Martin Heidegger – who called it "the fundamental question of metaphysics". It is not the case that there is no world, nothing at all, a blank. Why there is "Something" rather than "Nothing" We know that there is not Nothing. Infinity; all possibilities must exist. eSkeptic for December 19, 2018 Russell’s point was not that humans hadn’t yet explained why there is something rather than nothing but that there is no possible explanation. Is this 'ultimate question' a legitimate question? Why is there something rather than nothing? Why is there something rather than nothing? Either (1) there was always something and it was always changing or (2) something came from nothing. Why hasn't Nothing obtained? ‘There might be nothing’ is false when read epistemically. However, because the contingency argument is less well known and more complex, it ends up being treated like the middle child, the one everyone forgets about but who is just as special as the others. share. 'Why is there something rather than nothing?'" There is Something. Why is There "Something" Rather Than "Nothing"? For the answer to why there is something rather than nothing, the pre-universe should be considered. If there was a reason why there is something rather than nothing then the reason itself would be something. For the real answer to “why is there something rather than nothing”, read Stephen Hawking’s The Grand Design and Lawrence Krauss’s A Universe from Nothing. Some things are better reasoned through from first principles, and I think the universe is definitely one of those things. Possibly the most important ‘why’ question of all, and as such it should receive more attention. If you don't get dizzy, you really don't get it. • When positive and negative cancel each other out there is nothing. Well if there was always something then there wasn't any events that led up to there being something, and there wasn't any motive behind there being something. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts, http://nautil.us/issue/16/nothingness/the-bridge-from-nowhere. Ancient philosophers didn’t focus too much on what Heidegger [3] called the “funda- Like asking, "What's north of the north pole?" But what do I know? Here's the ultimate question: what if it were true that everything always and forever had been 'nothing'? It is precisely because the infinite side is positively more than the negative nothingness side, that, crucially, for all eternity there must always be something rather than nothing. Why is there something rather than nothing? The question, “Why is there something, rather than nothing?”, is a logical abstraction twice removed from the actual human experience of existence. In order to show why, I’ll present a formal version of the argument and then defend each of its premises. I'm just saying it doesn't make any logical sense. It’s antimatter. One argument supporting this is as follows.Two choices for answering the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" This doesn't follow. And, since anything could exist, everything DOES exist. Because we can see that “something” is here now, the only possible choice then is that “nothing” and “something” are one and the same thing. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. In the pre-universe, there are two possibilities. There have been many arguments for the existence of God. I finished writing it not too long ago, but was curious as to what other people interpreted it as. That is, we're not reifying "nothing" itself by talking about it because our talking wouldn't even be there in the case of "nothing" itself. It’s an odd question that could be thought of as either supremely profound, or supremely silly. If they are right, our entire cosmos may have sprung out of nothing at all I've a master's degree in which various courses included science and philosophy. So, in order to get the "something" we see now, the only possible choice is that what we think of as "nothing" isn't the lack of all existent entities. I'm trying to find where Heidegger actually said, "Why is there something rather than nothing?" Since metaphysics is the study of what exists, one might expect metaphysicians to have little to say about the limit case in which nothing exists. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. That is, it is a "something". In this cover story from our just-released issue Skeptic magazine 23.4 (2018), Michael Shermer delves into the question that underlies all the arguments: Why is there something rather than nothing?. are: Choice A is possible but does not explain anything. In this case your question doesn't make sense. and is described below. Two choices for answering the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" Here's the ultimate question: what if it were true that everything always and forever had been 'nothing'? The opening paragraph of his paper states this very conclusion: It seems natural to ask why the universe exists […] It’s not even printer ink. Our universe is probably some tiny part of something that has always been there. The questions pertaining to "why there is anything at all? There is Something. The conti… Discuss your thoughts for this post on our Facebook Group here . "Something” has not always been here. Choice A is possible but does not explain anything. It just doesn't make sense. More posts from the TrueAtheism community. Certain rules/concepts, such as 'time', and 'everything has a beginning and end' exist within our universe. Bede Rundle, Why there is Something rather than Nothing, Oxford University Press, 2004, 204 pp, $45.00 (hbk), ISBN 0199270503. So if it happened then I have no clue about anything. Thus the problem is solved. 2.) Close. Why Something Rather than Nothing? "Why" refers to either "what events lead up to.." or "what was the reason/motive behind...". 27. Imagine that not a single thing ever existed--not emptiness, not blankness, not even the existence of emptiness, or the meaning of blankness. But, this ignores the point about our mind's conception of "nothing" (and therefore the use of the word "nothing") being different than "nothing" itself in which no minds are present. What would it actually mean if there really was nothing? In this episode, we’re discussing “nothing”. Archived. Science and philosophy are concerned with asking how things are, and why they are the way they are. Ancient philosophers didn’t focus too much on what Heidegger [3] called the “funda- If there was a reason why there is something rather than nothing then the reason itself would be something, a something which is excluded in the premise of the question. There was always something and it was always changing. The question of why is there something rather than nothing has been with us for as long as man first acquired language and began to ask questions about the world around him. The discussion of it can get complicated quickly, as you can see from the quotation below. That is the answer: something always existed, and that is the first eternal and immaterial existent. It has real existence. And this something must always be positive relative to a negative opposite. Sean Carroll is a modern cosmologist who recently released a paper titled Why is there Something, Rather Than Nothing?[1]. https://sites.google.com/site/whydoesanythingexist/, Gefter, A., Nautulus, 2014, 16; http://nautil.us/issue/16/nothingness/the-bridge-from-nowhere. But, "non-existence" itself, and not our mind's conception of "non-existence", does not have this requirement; it is independent of our mind, and of existence, and of being defined as the lack of existence. That’s the big question we’re asking in this week’s show. Or at least know why there was something rather than nothing in 1995. 'Why is there something rather than nothing?'" Zero is the most powerful something in the list of non-nothings. Others (1) have suggested that the seeming insolubility of the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" That is the answer: something always existed, and that is the first eternal and immaterial existent. In particular, there’s a little motto that goes around saying, “The reason why there’s something rather nothing is because nothing is unstable.” And this has something to … Russell’s point was not that humans hadn’t yet explained why there is something rather than nothing but that there is no possible explanation. This question of origins—both of the universe as a whole and of the fundamental laws of physics—raises profound scientific, philosophical, and religious questions, culminating in the most basic existential question of all: Why are we here? So, the reason there’s something instead of nothing is because God decided to create the universe. It's irrelevant anyway. Why there is "Something" rather than "Nothing" We know that there is not Nothing. And when we understand why, we will also see that the question whether God exists is in no way eclipsed by the question why there is something rather than nothing”on the contrary, the existence of God, as classical theism understands God , is (so the classical theist would argue) the only possible answer in principle to that question. The explanation requires some knowledge of quantum physics to understand, and it’s not intuitive the way evolution is, but the point is, we do have an explanation now, a real one. There is Something. Because our minds exist, our mind's conception of "non-existence" is dependent on existence; that is, we must define "non-existence" as the lack of existence (this is why, to the mind, non-existence just looks like nothing at all). save. ", or, "why there is something rather than nothing" has been raised or commented on by philosophers including Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Martin Heidegger – who called it "the fundamental question of metaphysics". Published: March 05, 2005. Science and philosophy are concerned with asking how things are, and why they are the way they are. It therefore seems natural to take the next step and ask why things are at all – why the universe exists, or why there is something rather than nothing [1, 2]. It is not the case that there is no world, nothing at all, a blank. Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? You hear this question a lot in debates about atheism. How is it possible for something to emerge from nothing, or has a universe in some form always existed? This book makes sense of why we have a Universe at all, why we are here, and how you can have spirituality without religion. But ever since Parmenides in the fifth century BCE, there has been rich commentary on whether an empty world is possible, whether there are vacuums, and about the nature of privations and negation. It is a bit silly to ask this of atheists, as they generally do not claim they have a better idea if how the universe or its origins work. Carroll’s paper attempts to make a philosophical case that the universe may exist as a brute fact. It is not the case that there is no world, nothing at all, a blank. This question of origins—both of the universe as a whole and of the fundamental laws of physics—raises profound scientific, philosophical, and religious questions, culminating in the most basic existential question of all: Why are we here? Since nothing comes from nothing, and since it’s impossible to have an infinite regression of causes (because it would require crossing an infinite amount of time to get to now, which is not possible), then we must conclude that God brought the universe into existence. It therefore seems natural to take the next step and ask why things are at all – why the universe exists, or why there is something rather than nothing [1, 2]. How does nothing know it isn't something? Nothing is something. 15 49.0138 8.38624 arrow 0 arrow 0 4000 1 0 horizontal https://reasonabletheology.org 300 0 1 Said another way: If "nothing were truly the lack of all existent entities, there would be no mechanism present to create the "something" we see now. It is not the case that there is no world, nothing at all, a blank. It is the case that there is a world. One reason atheists attack the Kalaam argument is because it’s well known and easy to formulate. the reason itself would be something, a something which is excluded in the premise of the question. In this "absolute nothing”, there would be no mechanism present to change this “nothingness” into the “something” that is here now. But, I suggest that this situation, the supposed lack of all existent entities, is itself an existent entity. I can give you a great deal on something, but if you want nothing you're going to have to come back next week. This is the ultimate question: What if Everything had Forever been Nothing? It is the case that there is a world. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. Reviewed by Erik J. Olsson, Lund University It's okay to do this; our talking about it won't affect whether or not "nothing" itself, and not our mind's conception of "nothing", exists. Press J to jump to the feed. Like others have said, it's a massive philosophical question that has a mess of possible answers. The claim of atheist is that they do not believe what people of faith are saying. 1 2 21. comments. Try again. It’s an odd question that could be thought of as either supremely profound, or supremely silly. In the pre-universe, there are two possibilities. It amazes me we can ask these questions about it, and then find ways to look for answers. Discuss your thoughts for this post on our Facebook Group here . My TOK teacher gave this, and only this, as the subject of an essay we had to write. Doesn't mean they exist outside of it. You won't confuse me with that. Just some person who has always lived on Earth and realistically doesn't know a thing about what is outside the universe. Traditionally, when we imagine getting rid of all existent entities including matter, energy, space/volume, time, abstract concepts, laws or constructs of physics and math as well as minds to consider this supposed lack of all, we think what is left is the lack of all existent entities, or "nothing". There are some metaphysical interpretations of reality that do lend themselves decently well to delivering a pretty natural answer to this question, but none of these metaphysical interpretations are exactly universally accepted enough to provide a quick or easily digestible answer. It’s one of the most important questions to ask, and its answer may have big implications. Is this 'ultimate question' a legitimate question? And anyone who tries to assert god based on the fact that we don't know is intellectually bankrupt. There is clearly something. When we ask why there’s something rather than nothing, we’re asking something about us, and our lives as human beings. r/AskReddit is the place to ask and answer thought-provoking questions. If it's choice B, if “something” has not always been here, then “nothing” must have been here before it. Not just emptiness, not just blankness, but not even the existence of emptiness, not even the meaning of blankness, and no Forever. Krauss's answer is nothing new. If that which does not exist can be a cause, then nothing can produce something, which is a contradiction. (Roughly, a proposition is epistemically possible if it is consistent with everything that is known.) A possible solution to how "nothing" itself can be an existent entity, or a "something" is based on the proposed solution to the question "Why do things exist?" Since nothing comes from nothing, and since it’s impossible to have an infinite regression of causes (because it would require crossing an infinite amount of time to get to now, which is not possible), then we must conclude that God brought the universe into existence. And this something must always be positive relative to a negative opposite. The question, “Why is there something, rather than nothing?”, is a logical abstraction twice removed from the actual human experience of existence. Why is there something rather than nothing? Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? We are one occurrence of the infinite possible existences. is based on a flawed assumption. This is the question Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz posed about the universe to argue for the existence of God. As a logical abstraction, “some thing” cannot be the starting point of a philosophical argument which reaches, in conclusion, the existence of any entity, let alone that Being whose nature is to exist. It is not merely a name for a certain relation. hide. The opening paragraph of his paper states this very conclusion: It seems natural to ask why the universe exists […] Why hasn't Nothing obtained? Or does it extend towards past infinity? It's very easy to confuse the mind's conception of "non-existence" with "non-existence" itself, in which neither the mind nor anything else is present. Why is there nothing rather than something? Then the retort to ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’ is ‘There is no alternative to there being something!’. But I am the only one to think that this is a nonsensical question? are: A. What can science contribute? However, in the interim, even if common sense tempts us to believe that matter cannot spontaneously arise from empty space, “when we allow for the dynamics of gravity and quantum mechanics… this is no longer true” (Lawrence Krauss, A Universe from Nothing , 2012, p.151). From nothing comes nothing is one; the other possibility is that something always existed. If there was nothing we wouldn't be able to talk about there not being something because we wouldn't be there to observe it and ask about it. This is plain because a non entity cannot act. This is logically required if we go with choice B. this is a simple non sequitur. You still end up at “it just is”, you just take the long way to get there. In my life there exists no greater question. I simply cannot conceptualize "nothing", no matter how hard I try. This question, usually thought to fall strictly within the purview of philosophy and theology, has recently received attention in the world of popular science thanks to books by Stephen Hawking and Lawrence M. … – John Horgan, Director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Science Will Never Explain Why There’s Something Rather Than Nothing, Scientific American, April 23, 2012. But why? Great mysteries still surround the origins and existence of the universe. An astrophysicist might be better suired to explain things related to the history of the universethan a general atheist. Imagine that not a single thing ever existed--not emptiness, not blankness, not even the existence of emptiness, or the meaning of blankness. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Universe_from_Nothing, A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing is a non-fiction book by the physicist Lawrence M. KKrauss. Some physicists think they can explain why the universe first formed. 1 Reply . Now I can't think of how, in any way, (2) could be possible. Carroll’s paper attempts to make a philosophical case that the universe may exist as a brute fact. Damn, this is actually an excellent eli5 version of my answer. The discussion of it can get complicated quickly, as you can see from the quotation below. It is precisely because the infinite side is positively more than the negative nothingness side, that, crucially, for all eternity there must always be something rather than nothing. It is not a simple question and it does not belong to one branch of knowledge. But why? Why is there something rather than nothing? This question takes the cake. north 1 . report. Did they come to a philosophical thread despite hating vague and pointless answers. 15 49.0138 8.38624 arrow 0 arrow 0 4000 1 0 horizontal https://reasonabletheology.org 300 0 1 What can science contribute? Press J to jump to the feed. Rules/Concepts, such as 'time ', and why they are to know an! I ca n't think of how, in fact, nothing at all may exist a. Everything had forever been nothing? astrophysicist might be nothing ’ is When! `` what was the entire existence absent at some point in the list of non-nothings attempts make! 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